Saints and Misfits by S.K. AliFiction. According to Janna Yusuf, there are three kinds of people. Sarah, her brother's pious fiancée, is the first kind: a saint. Farooq, the guy who assaulted Janna at a party, is the second kind: a monster, even if he acts saintly at the mosque. And Janna – a Flannery O'Connor-loving, hijab-wearing Muslim girl with divorced parents and a crush on a non-Muslim guy -- is the third kind: a misfit, never quite feeling like she belongs. If Janna's authentically angsty struggle to find her place and her voice resonates with you, you may also want to try Sheba Karim's That Thing We Call a Heart.
The Leaf Reader by Emily ArsenaultParanormal Suspense. Since people at her small-town high school assume that she's just as strange as her family, Marnie Wells decides to lean into her odd reputation. She starts offering tea-leaf readings to her classmates only to discover a real talent for fortune-telling. That talent attracts the attention of basketball star Matt, who wants to know why he's receiving messages from someone claiming to be his missing (presumed dead) best friend. Even as her readings get more disturbing, Marnie finds herself irresistibly drawn toward Matt and his mystery. Hints of the supernatural add to the feeling of creeping unease in this page-turning tale of suspense.
Be True to Me by Adele GriffinHistorical Fiction. Jean is ready to take on the summer of 1976. Settling into her family's summer home in an upper-class New York beach community, she sets her sights on winning this year's tennis tournament, as well as the heart of handsome newcomer Gil. Her only obstacle is Fritz, a working-class girl who, despite being an outsider on the island, threatens Jean's tennis standing and effortlessly captures Gil's attention. In alternating narration, Jean and Fritz describe how their fierce competition veers toward tragedy in this high-drama story of ruthless rivalry and twisted romance.
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi LeeHistorical Fantasy. A "Grand Tour" of 18th-century Europe offers Lord Henry Montague's one last chance to cut loose. Once he returns, Monty will have to abandon his scandalous life of drinking and dallying with young ladies (and gentlemen) and take over his family's British estate. The Tour is barely underway when Monty -- who's accompanied by his sharp-minded sister Felicity and his best friend (and secret love) Percy -- makes a powerful enemy, turning the journey into a life-or-death mission involving highwaymen, pirates, and alchemy. Blending snarky humor with passionate emotion and savvy social observations, this "guide" is a must-read for fans of inclusive historical adventure.
Want by Cindy PonScience Fiction. Jason Zhou will do whatever it takes to destroy Jin Corp. The powerful company has a monopoly on expensive suits that protect the wealthy from the toxic environment of near-future Taipei, and they're not above poisoning the population to drive up prices. Fed up with being poor and unprotected, Jason and his friends concoct a plan to take down Jin Corp from the inside. The plan begins with kidnapping Jin's daughter, Daiyu…and it goes awry when Jason begins to fall for her. Fans of Alex London's Proxy series will appreciate this equally gritty and futuristic tale of corporate greed, class warfare, and complicated romance.
Focus on: Organ Donors and Transplants
Alive by Chandler BakerParanormal Suspense. Ever since her life-saving heart transplant, 17-year-old Stella has been suffering from heartache -- literally. At the same time every day, she has visions of horrific violence accompanied by agonizing pain. The bizarre symptoms begin to ease, however, after she gets involved with Levi, the magnetic new guy at her prep school. Their steamy relationship distracts Stella so much that by the time she recognizes the red flags surrounding Levi, it may already be too late. Gripping, blood-splattered suspense will keep you reading right up through the end of this supernatural thriller.
Things We Know by Heart by Jessi KirbyRomance. After Quinn Sullivan's boyfriend Trent is killed in an accident, his major organs are donated. Desperate to hold on to Trent however she can, Quinn joins a program that allows her to meet all of the organ recipients -- except for the heart recipient, Colton Thomas, who doesn't respond to her message. Abandoning the rules of the program, Quinn tracks Colton down on her own, and even though she hides her reason for seeking him out, their connection is immediate and powerful. As they fall deeper in love, Quinn's worries loom large -- are her feelings really for Colton, or for Trent? And will Colton still love her when he learns the truth? Pick up this sweet and unusual contemporary romance to find out.
Pieces by Chris LynchFiction. It's been a year since his brother Duane died, but 18-year-old Eric is still lost in grief. Hoping for closure, he reaches out to three people who received Duane's donated organs: grateful teen Phil, hard-drinking jerk Barry, and single mom Malinda. While trying to understand his relationship to these three, Eric also has to figure out his complicated feelings for Martha, Duane's loud and funny former girlfriend. Equal parts profane and profound, Pieces is a memorable story of grief and moving on. Readers looking for another character-driven story about siblings and organ donation might enjoy Hannah Barnaby's Some of the Parts.
Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany SchmidtThriller. Even the lightest touch could damage sheltered, 17-year-old Penelope Landlow -- she has a rare disorder that causes easy bruising and requires frequent blood transfusions. These treatments are funded by the family business: the Landlows are major players in the black market for human organ transplants. Yet the business that enables Penny's safety also makes her family a target, and after a shocking tragedy shatters her protective bubble, Penny discovers that independence is hazardous…and that she's more resilient than anyone suspected. If you relish the pulse-pounding suspense and unexpected romance in this thriller, you won't want to miss the follow-up, Break Me Like A Promise.
Noggin by John Corey WhaleyFiction. Travis Coates is back from the dead, but he still can't get a life. As a terminally ill 16-year-old, Travis had agreed to have his head cryogenically frozen, thinking he'd be revived in the far future. Instead, it's only five years later when he wakes up with his head attached to a donor body. Though Travis is grateful, adjusting to his new reality is confusing: his gay best friend Kyle is back in the closet, his girlfriend Cate is engaged to some other guy, and he's still stuck in high school while everyone else has moved on. If you appreciate angst sprinkled with humor, don't miss this "satisfyingly oddball" (Kirkus Reviews) coming-of-age story.
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